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Deploy Your Energies on Important, Immediate Assignments and Earn Better Grades

Sep 3, 2008
Have you ever noticed in your life that the times you were most productive were times when you had the least amount of time to spend, or a deadline to work to that you had to have a project or study finished by.

Do you find yourself "not" completing the work you're supposed to do, when you have ample time to get it done yet when you're giving yourself a time table and short sharp bursts of urgent timelines you excel above and beyond what you ever expected?

These are some more detailed examples:

Not important and not urgent. You have a book report to hand in at the end of the semester. It'll take you 10 to 20 hours to read the book and 4 or 5 hours to write the report. You have 3 months and it's worth 10% of your final grade.

Get to work as early as you can so you don't end up rushing later on.

You really want to avoid letting an important task become an "urgent and important" task. You can easily avoid this type of situation by psychologically giving yourself one-fourth of the time to complete the task, which will result in a faster completion time. Therefore, allowing extra time so that you can review and "polish" the final product into something truly amazing.

Not important but urgent. A quizz is scheduled for the next day, but you haven't been to able to review anything. Though it is only 5% of the total, you are desirous of getting the maximum mark you can.

You should have done this in-between other things when you had the time. Now you will feel stress and anxiety that could have easily been avoided.

Whenever you notice that you are in a similar situation, you should focus on your weak points and spend 80 percent of your time fine tuning those points. Spend the rest of your time working on your strong areas.

Important but not urgent. You have a project which is assigned 35% of your final marks. The due date of completion is in a month and as per your estimate, it will take 20 to 25 hours for completion.

Once you've broken it down into manageable pieces, it's important to set a separate timeline and deadline for each piece, so that you have a really detailed and realistic plan for completing the project. This keeps your work stress-free, since you have set times when you can cool off and set times to focus on each bit of work.

Important and urgent. You have a final exam in two days, it's worth 70% of your final grade. You haven't put in enough time - there is so much new material to cover you don't know where to start. Panic starts to set in.

This is not where you want to be spending your time. You want to spend as much time as possible on important but not urgent issues. Of course, this takes planning and preparation But you will find times when you need to manage important and urgent situations in your education, life and work.

The best way to handle these is firstly to take a step back from the situation, and look upon it from a "slower" more patient perspective Nothing is so urgent that you need to dive straight in without thinking, you need to do your due diligence in every situation, and that might only be 5 minutes of planning but at least you took a bit of time out and planned before you went ahead.

When you get the balance of urgency, study and researching for projects right and align them with a prioritized time table, in particular the urgent assignments and tests, you'll have a success formula that will see you through not only your education, you'll have a valuable skill that will enable you to complete any project in your working life as well.
About the Author
About the author: Dr Marc R. Dussault can show you how to easily get better grades using simple, effective speed learning techniques that anyone can learn. Visit the "Get Better Grades" web site for more great tips on speed learning.
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